Songs of Conquest entered Early Access yesterday on Steam and is the perfect game for those who miss the days of 90s strategy games like Heroes of Might and Magic.
It was developed by Lavapotion and published by Coffee Stain Publishing – the same company responsible for the popular Valheim survival game.
The new game’s mechanics will be familiar to anyone who played a Heroes of Might and Magic (HOMM) game and, as a result, is an excellent choice for those who want a fresh take on this gameplay style.
The first thing you’ll notice about Songs of Conquest is its art style.
Rather than conventional graphics, it instead uses a hand-drawn style of beautifully illustrated characters and animations that give the game a unique character.
All the units, heroes, areas, and maps share this style and are enhanced by the game’s musical score – which consists of an excellent choral soundtrack that evolves as you play, adding new verses the more you achieve.
Like HOMM, Songs of Conquest uses a turn-based army builder mechanic centred around heroes.
When you start a game, your goal is to defeat your opponents by beating their armies and destroying their buildings.
This is done using your own army, which you build up by upgrading and expanding your settlements and recruiting more units.
Like Total War games, you interact with the world map by moving your army – which is represented by your hero – around.
This includes picking up resources and items, using portals to travel and battling with the AI armies scattered throughout the area.
When you engage in battle, you command your army on a hexagonal combat map where your stacks of units move in turn-based combat.
Each stack represents the number of that unit you possess, and as it takes damage, its numbers will decrease.
As your hero increases in level, you’ll be able to expand the number of stacks your armies can hold and increase and augment this army’s capabilities.
You can also use magic spells to give you the edge during battle, and here are dozens of spells to choose from that each offer different effects.
Factions and multiplayer
Songs of Conquest has both a single-player campaign and multiplayer modes that will allow you to play with your friends.
You and your friends will choose between four factions to play, each of which has a unique set of play styles and units to command.
Each faction also boasts nine heroes to choose from, all of whom have very different skill sets and modifiers that offer vastly different playstyles.
This means there is a high degree of replayability — especially in multiplayer.
Songs of Conquest also boasts an in-depth and precise map creator tool, which allows you to craft your ideal map down to the finest detail and ensures that there will always be new and exciting maps to test your skills on.
Although Songs of Conquest is in early access, so bugs and in-complete features are expected, the game is still an excellent addition to the genre.
If you miss the days of HOMM and feel like playing a new, shiny game that seeks to emulate the original classics, then Songs of Conquest is a must buy.